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2002-03 Men's Tennis Season Preview

September 12, 2002

Andy Tsai '03
Senior co-captain Andy Tsai
2001-2002 RECAP
The Amherst men's tennis team faced tough competition in 2001-02, but fought back to shore up a No. 7 ranking in the Northeast, according to the final Omni Hotels Collegiate Tennis Rankings, distributed by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. Along the way, the Jeffs picked up a 6-1 win over Brandeis University in the fall, convincing conference wins over Wesleyan University and Connecticut College, as well as a 6-1 pounding of M.I.T. in the spring. "We had a decent season, considering our No. 2 singles player Brian Chin was studying abroad at the London School of Economics, and that our No. 3 Rob Feeley couldn't play in the spring," said Head Coach Peter Robson. The squad narrowly missed a bid to the NCAA Tournament, despite taking down M.I.T., who beat tournament contenders Bates and Trinity Colleges. To round out the season, the Jeffs marked a seventh-place finish, while hosting the NESCAC Championship Tournament.

The Class of 2002 graduated three team members. Senior co-captains Peter Ransmeier and George Tsai, along with senior standout Bryan Wexler, provided the Jeffs with consistent play for four years. Wexler, who headlined the singles lineup from No. 1 slot, was recognized with the ITA Northeast Region Arthur Ashe Award for Leadership and Sportsmanship at the conclusion of his collegiate career. Tsai and Ransmeier contributed key experience and power from the heart of the singles and doubles lineups, spearheading a wealth of team wins over a four-year span. Together, the three maintained the Amherst program as a force in men's collegiate tennis.

Despite the loss of the Class of 2002 to graduation, the future looks strong for Amherst. Senior co-captains Brian Chin and Andy Tsai will headline the Jeffs' lineup along with senior Adam Liebsohn. Veteran senior Andy Sagor will also look to push the envelope during his concluding season. Junior Andrew Merle has made a name for himself in the NESCAC, and will hope to build on his first two seasons as a Jeff. Junior Dan Altschuler has shown promise in the past as well. Sophomores Will Abbott and Max Rettig both posted impressive rookie seasons at Amherst, and Robson will most likely call on them to steady the bottom half of the Jeff lineup this year. Sophomores Ethan Davis, Brian Lawrence, Arpan Podduturi and Drew Tarlow will round out the Amherst roster.

"We have an outstanding incoming class," said Robson. "They'll be strong contenders for a spot in the top six." The Class of 2006 attracted several top prospects, in the process ensuring a stronghold of talent for future teams. First-year Daniel Babkes was ranked first in the USTA Mid-Atlantic Section and 25th nationally in his age group last year. He will be joined by classmate Scott Bronner, who made his mark as one of Illinois' top players. First-year Jonathan Godsall will matriculate at Amherst from Toronto, Canada, where he was ranked among the top 15 players in Ontario. Finally, first-year Josh Rilla brings impressive credentials to Amherst he holds the top ranking in Massachusetts and is in the top ten in the USTA New England section rankings.